Thursday, 8 March 2012

07:58 – I just got email from our production editor at O’Reilly/MAKE about the schedule for the biology book. Next week, 3/12 through 3/16, is devoted to the QC1 pass. That’s where they send us a PDF of the book in final form so that we can make any last-minute edits. At this point, any such edits should be very minor–correcting typos and so on–and we really hope that no changes are needed that would affect pagination. It generally takes me two or three days to complete this pass. Then, on the 19th through the 21st, I’ll be reviewing the index. For some reason, that’s always difficult for me. I can never think of anything to add. Of course, that’s probably because O’Reilly uses very good indexers. Then, on the 22nd and 23rd, we do the QC2 pass, which is reviewing what we really hope is the final camera-ready PDF. If any changes are needed in this pass, we really, really hope they’re extremely minor. Then we have the final index review on the 27th and 28th, followed by the book going to the printer on 6 April.

UPS showed up yesterday with 2,200 15 mL bottles and the screw caps to fit them. It looks like they’ll work fine, but I’ll do some testing on them to make sure. That means filling several of them with water, capping them and taping the caps, and then tossing a bag of them into the clothes dryer on medium and tumbling them for half an hour or so. If they survive that with no leakage, we’ll assume they’ll also survive shipping without leakage.

Work continues on the re-write of the forensics book to adapt it to a custom kit.


14:50 – Here’s the quote of day, from French President Nicolas Sarkozy: “The economic crisis is still with us, but I think we can say that we have surmounted the financial crisis. The euro is still here. Who would have bet on that four years ago?”

Four years ago? Four years ago, neither Sarkozy nor any of the other eurozone leaders even understood there was a problem. And, until now, they’ve all denied repeatedly that the euro was under existential threat. Now, Sarkozy appears to be saying that for the last four years everyone has believed that the euro was doomed, but now that threat is gone. Geez. As Buffy would say, his logic is not Earth logic.

Meanwhile, regardless of how the Greek debt swap proceeds with the final deadline coming up in about 10 minutes, Greece has already announced it is defaulting. Not “selective default”. Not “partial default”. Not “organized default”. Default default. Greece announced that there are only two choices for its creditors: (a) accept the write-down of 75% in NPV terms, or (b) get nothing. That’s a default by anyone’s definition, no matter what kind of lipstick Greece, the IIF, the ECB, and the IMF try to put on that pig.

And at this point it’s difficult to see how Greece can meet the Troika requirements for approving the new bailout. Even if the Troika chooses to reduce the requirements, and it’s difficult to see how that would be possible politically, the assumptions about who is paying how much are going to bite them in the ass. EU politicians are working on the assumption that the IMF will kick in a third of the required funds, and the IMF has already said it’s not going to do that. The IMF may kick in 10% of the nominal requirements, if that. And the nominal requirements are entirely inadequate. That means the EU is going to have to come up with a lot more money. That, of course, means that Germany is going to have to come up with most of that additional money, and it’s clear that Germany simply isn’t going to do that. So Greece is going down the tubes, one way or another, no matter what happens with the debt swap.